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Don’t Let Drug Charges Jeopardize Your Freedom or Your Future

Florida is among the harshest states in the U.S. when it comes to penalties for drug offenders. Even a first-time drug charge can have lifelong consequences; depending on how much and the type of drug you are accused of possessing, you could face a first-degree felony charge. Without the proper representation, you could be punished with up to 30 years in prison and fines of $10,000 for this offense. The potential penalties vary widely but could be even more severe if you have prior convictions on your record.

Fortunately, Karatinos Law, PLLC, can help. Keeley Karatinos is a drug crimes defense attorney who fights aggressively for her clients and is committed to finding justice. She serves clients throughout Pasco, Hernando and Sumter counties.

Drug Schedule Determines The Severity of Charges

The list of controlled substances in Florida is long, but the charges one may face for possession, manufacturing, or distribution of each of them can vary based on the Schedule of the drug.

The controlled substances carrying the harshest penalties for possession include:

  • Certain amounts of marijuana
  • Any amount of cocaine
  • Any amount of methamphetamine
  • Any amount of LSD
  • Any amount of ecstasy

Under Florida law, there are two ways someone can be convicted of “possession,” known as actual possession and constructive possession. You can be charged with actual possession if you are being accused of having the substance on your person. Conversely, you can be charged with constructive possession if you have control over the substance, even though it’s not immediately in your possession.

Types of Drug Crimes and Associated Penalties

Penalties for drug crimes in Florida can be severe and vary depending on the type of drug, the amount involved, and the specific criminal offense. Florida law classifies drug crimes into different categories, each with its own set of penalties. Here’s an overview of the potential consequences for drug crimes in the state:

  • Possession: Simple possession of a controlled substance is typically charged as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and fines.
  • Possession with intent to sell: If authorities believe you had the intent to sell or distribute drugs, the penalties can be significantly harsher, including mandatory minimum sentences.
  • Trafficking: Drug trafficking charges involve large quantities of controlled substances. Penalties range from mandatory minimum prison sentences to life imprisonment, depending on the drug type and quantity.
  • Manufacturing: Producing illegal drugs is a serious offense, with penalties that can lead to substantial prison time.
  • Prescription drug crimes: Misuse of prescription drugs is also a criminal offense and can result in fines and imprisonment.
  • Drug paraphernalia: Possession of drug paraphernalia, such as pipes or syringes, can result in misdemeanor charges and potential fines.

Penalties for the crimes above can be enhanced if the offenses occur within a specified distance from a school, park or other designated area.

Work With Attorney Keeley Who Can Help You Seek Alternatives to Incarceration

It’s important to note that Florida’s criminal justice system offers alternatives to incarceration for some nonviolent offenders, such as drug court programs and rehabilitation options. However, the availability of these alternatives depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the defendant’s willingness to participate in treatment. If you or a loved one is facing drug-related charges in Florida, it’s crucial to seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer like Keeley. She will evaluate the details of your case, build a robust defense and work to mitigate the potential penalties you may face.

Don’t Wait to Seek Legal Help – Talk to  Attorney Keeley For Free

Karatinos Law, PLLC, offers free initial consultations to prospective clients in Hernando, Pasco and Sumter counties. To schedule yours, call Keeley today at 352-405-0537 or reach out online. Keeley is multilingual and can communicate directly with clients in English, Spanish and Russian.